Alright, let’s just get this out of the way…
If at any point, it sounds like I’m dreading Iroduku right now…well, you’re not entirely wrong in a manner of speaking. Finishing this anime, let alone write more about it, is proving to be a little hard though not because it’s jumped to the shark but rather, I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for the finale. How can I when much of the show was everyone having a fun time, taking pictures together? This anime lured me into a false sense of security and now I’m getting smacked right in the face with the reality that everything must come to an end. Bittersweet is definitely the first word I’d use to describe Iroduku‘s final stretch. Hitomi has to go back to her time leaving the two day-long Culture Festival all the time she has left to spend with all her friends.
Somewhat surprising is that not once in this episode does Hitomi ever disappear from existence again. I get the impression that the writers may just pulled that stunt a couple of times last episode so that the viewer is more aware that the clock is ticking. And to be fair, it does indeed work. The whole time I watch this episode, I keep feeling tense and think that at any moment, Hitomi will vanish again and we’re all back to panic mode. Having some of the characters act as though it’s still possibility also lends reason to feel tense. Kohaku is particularly seen holding Hitomi’s hand, even praying to the heavens for her granddaughter to stay tethered to the present until her star sand watch is completed.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Despite the fact that Hitomi needs to go back to the future ASAP, everyone is still determined to end her time in the present on a high note. And sure enough, they do as their Culture Festival exhibit becomes a huge success. Unsurprisingly, Kohaku and Hitomi’s magic show garners a long line of visitors on both days. Hitomi looks so confident and happy too when she’s posing and spellcasting with Kohaku. I’m sure I’ve said it before but this girl has come a long way from lifting cups with sticks of Pocky and you can tell she’s grown to like magic a lot more now. You even have some triumph for Asagi and Yuito as both of them gain some fans for their respective contributions to the club. How nice of Iroduku sneak that in at the end. Both of those characters had their own reservations about their craft and now, they’ve learned that it doesn’t hurt to try and leave it out for the others to see.
Props to Asagi for setting up a time for Yuito and Hitomi to explore the Culture Festival together. This is the closest to a date these two will ever have. A shame then that neither character is courageous enough to confess to the other that they’re in love with them. The love is definitely there. We just saw them spend time at the park together at night not too long ago. And in case you somehow weren’t sure they’re a shipping, this episode has Hitomi inner monologue about her feelings towards Yuito and Yuito holds her hand when the two of them explore a haunted house exhibit. It all just boils down to just one of them deciding to confess confess and understandably, they both hesitate since a relationship is, by every means, impractical.
The real highlight of the episode for me is the fireworks scene. Aside from being a real treat for the eyes (again, it’s P.A. Works), there’s all sorts of contrasts at play here. For starters, I love that Hitomi creates the fireworks with Kohaku. Again, this girl has clearly improved her skills as a mage and she’s become so comfortable doing so as well. More importantly, this scene heavily plays off how Iroduku as a series began. At the beginning of the story, Hitomi was alone and only saw the fireworks in monochrome. Now, she watches them with friends and the overwhelming feelings of happiness she feels at the moment allow her to see in color again. The moment it happens is simply put, heartwarming. I can’t think of a better moment for her curse to be lifted once more, even if for only a little bit.
Oddly enough, Iroduku ends its penultimate episode right when Kohaku begins the magic ritual. A bit cruel but then again, I’m not emotionally prepared to see Hitomi say her farewells to everybody. I could use a few more days before I see how this unfold (I still won’t be prepared though). Hopefully, the series finale is where we get to see Hitomi confess her feelings to Yuito or vice versa. This anime as held off and teased this pairing for long enough. And sure, this is a love that was never meant to be but I’d rather have these characters go their separate ways with no regrets between them than to spend their lives wondering what they could’ve done differently.
- Is Mr. Ichiyanagi, the bookstore owner who provides Kohaku her star sand watch Hitomi’s grandfather? It felt very deliberate to have Hitomi meet him and she did look a bit stunned to see him. The guy also did request for the star sand watch to be complete sooner so at the very least, I don’t think Kohaku will be forgetting this guy anytime soon. I feel bad for those extras at school though.
- Really peculiar to have a scene where Yuito wonders what he can accomplish and proceeds to draws in the middle of the night. Did he draw something for Hitomi? Did he maybe end up drawing that book Hitomi mentioned she really liked reading as a kid?
- As much I as I like Asagi this episode, it astounds me that she has yet to properly confess to Sho. She subtly brings it up at least but let’s face it, Sho couldn’t take the hint even if it was broadcasted on live television. Why do I get the feeling the finale will just cut to them being a couple?
- The real burning question is did Hitomi remember to bring more pocky for that magic bus driver? I just remembered that bit from Episode 1 and now I’m actually curious if there’ll be continuity here.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Iroduku: The World in Colors on Amazon